Litigation Divorce or Mediation Divorce – Which is right for you?

Oftentimes people think that entering a courtroom is the only option for divorce, but mediation is also there for you!  Litigation and mediation are very different processes. Mediation is often preferable for several reasons, aside from the fact that it costs far less than litigation.

Let’s go through some of the many differences between litigation and mediation!

Cost Differences of Mitigation and Litigation

In litigation, costs are unpredictable and often escalate rapidly. Even after judgment is rendered, post-judgment litigation is common and costly. Adversarial expert battles are financially inefficient. On the other hand, the cost of mediation is comparatively far less than litigation.

In litigation, separate experts support each party’s positions (at twice the expense). And non-transparency requires the opposing experts to work harder than in mediation, not just developing and defending their own opinions, but also preparing the attack on the opposing expert’s position. In mediation, the clients can jointly retain experts to inform and guide them in developing transparent data into mutually beneficial solutions.

Court hours can add up as well.  In litigation, the judge mandates the timetable, and crowded court dockets regularly cause delays, increasing the cost when preparation has to be repeated. In contrast, mediation typically takes less time than litigation because the parties have more control over the process rather than being dependent on the judge’s calendar. Despite that, in complex matters, more than one mediation session may be necessary before a resolution is reached, mediation still takes far less time overall.

A Game of Chance

In court, a judge who doesn’t know the parties or share their values, controls the process. Then, either the judge, or a jury of “your peers,” of whom the same is true, makes the decisions.  Judges are selected randomly and can have a huge impact on the outcome of your litigation divorce agreement.

Mediation is done with a single mediator who is selected by the parties, and who does not judge the dispute or the parties themselves. This impartial mediator simply facilitates negotiations between the parties with the goal of helping them to reach their own agreements. The parties brainstorm with each other and the other professionals attending mediation, which may be their lawyers, their experts, and the mediator herself, to come up with creative solutions best suited to their needs. The parties make the decisions in this type of divorce proceeding.

The Moods of Mitigation and Litigation are Different

In litigation, the atmosphere is positional, adversarial, and hostile. In mediation, the atmosphere is more relaxed and peaceful.

In litigation, the level of conflict is hostile, adversarial, and disrespectful. The way that the discovery process is conducted in litigation discourages candor and transparency. 

In mediation, people are encouraged to freely and confidentially present their positions to a neutral third party, the mediator, whether at the same time or in separate meetings, whichever makes the most sense.

Litigation is public and subject to media attention. In contrast, matters discussed in mediation remain confidential.

The court process discourages communication between parties. In mediation, the mediator often educates and assists both parties to effectively communicate with each other, despite their differences.

How Child Custody Differs

In court litigation, judges like to split the baby, if they can. Lawyers fight to win, but someone always loses in these types of judgements. In mediation, lawyers often problem-solve and facilitate conversations to help parties generate an interests-based agreement where everyone can win.

Tampa Collaborative Divorce and Mediation Divorce

You may be thinking, “Where can I find a divorce lawyer near me?” Anton Garcia Law’s family law attorneys are compassionate, experienced and dedicated to representing your best interests.  Contact us today!  Serving the following Florida areas:

  • Tampa, St Petersburg
  • Land O’ Lakes
  • Lakeland
  • Plant City
  • Downtown Tampa
  • … and more!